Our math curriculum in grades 1-6 is based on the methodology of Singapore and aims to emulate that country’s success by promoting a deeper understanding of numbers and math concepts. Students in Singapore have repeatedly ranked at or near the top on international math exams since the mid-1990s.
Unlike many math curricula, which spiral concepts from year to year, Singapore Math teaches for mastery. Each new math skill begins with the use of concrete objects and progresses to pictoral representations and then to abstract algorithms. The goal is mastery of each concept, and students of Singapore Math spend more time solidifying their understanding of a math concept than do students of most other math curricula.
Since we adopted Singapore Math, our students’ test scores have markedly increased. Results of the ERB Standardized tests confirm that Singapore Math has given our students an academic boost. Across the board, our teachers have found it to be the most effective math curriculum they have ever used. No other curriculum has made it so easy to assess mastery.
In Singapore and around the world, the Singapore Math curriculum begins in first grade. (There is no kindergarten in Singapore.) Our students begin the curriculum with the advantage of having used the Montessori approach to math in Kindergarten. Like Singapore Math, Montessori uses materials that move young mathematicians from the concrete to the abstract, moving from one concept to another upon mastery.
In seventh and eighth grades, students transition to year-long study of algebra and geometry.